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Brain Injury 101: How education leads to empowerment

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What does empowerment mean to you? What does it look like? According to the Oxford
dictionary, “empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in
controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.” This is such a significant process to recovery and
allowing a person to fully embrace who they are. At BIFSTL it is not only important to us to help our
clients achieve their goals, but also to empower our clients to learn about and to become more than
their brain injury.

white text on green background with illustrated floral decoration, reads "Empowerment- process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claming one's rights" Oxford Dictionary

One of our resources here at the BIFSTL, is to provide each of our clients Brain Injury 101, where
we teach “what they didn’t tell you when you left the hospital.” The goals of these sessions are for
people to grasp an understanding of the various types of brain injuries, common physical, cognitive, and
emotional consequences of Brain Injury, and common psychological consequences of Brain Injury on the
survivor and family. Now, don’t worry. This information is not just for our clients, and we gladly hand
out information to family members or friends as well. “Brain Injury forever changes the individual who
experienced it… And everyone around them.” Education is an important part of the recovery process
and the more people that are aware of brain injury and how it works, the better the chance of a great
recovery.

Which lead us to the question of: Why is education critical to empowerment? One person
mentioned that “the knowledge and understanding of my brain injury has empowered me.
Understanding my brain injury allows me to develop strategies to prepare me for life, not just a job.”
Brain injury is complex, and each brain injury is different. This is why, at BIFSTL we treat each brain
injury individually. Educating our clients and their support systems about brain injury is just one of the
many ways we help empower our clients and allow them to take steps into taking control of their lives.
So, tell us, what does empowerment look like to you?

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